In this blog, we sit down with Freddy Grell, our Clinical Account Manager. Freddy joined Body Vision in 2019 as the third US-based employee. After starting his career in the military as a combat medic, he transitioned into a cardiovascular specialist where he mastered cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology. This was his first introduction to tomographic platforms and imaging modalities for intra-body navigation.
Freddy spent time at a few different startups within the medical device industry before coming to Body Vision. At the time, it was an early-stage startup that aligned well with his background and aspirations. He shares, “Everything I heard about the company really aligned where I was trying to go with my career and the additional benefit of developing technology that you really believed in and could see the limitless potential. At every stage of the product development, I was like “I love these people, I need to work with these people.”
Today, Freddy helps facilitate initial training and education of best practices in pulmonary practice.
Body Vision: As one of the first employees in the US, how do you feel about the recent growth of the company?
Freddy Grell: It's so exciting to see where we are going from where we started. We just had our first National Sales Meeting with the entire US team of over a dozen people. It is incredible to see that growth and it infuses more excitement in the team. It’s a really cool feeling to be around all of these bright people that share the same vision you came on for. It really shows this is the right place to be and there is a lot of potential. We are bringing on experts with 20+ years’ experience, they are tried and true, know what they are doing. It’s really good to be reaffirmed like that.
What is the LungVision difference?
We are the only technology on the market that provides live, real-time imaging based on the current physiology of the patient. Recently, everyone has become more aware of CT-to-body divergence being a huge issue affecting the outcome of these procedures and we are able to effectively mitigate that gap.
What does the setup for the LungVision platform in the hospital look like:
Our main unit can handle all display ports, so first we have to know what type of ports the health system can accommodate so that integration is easy. All this information is sent to the service team, then our team creates a connectivity map that tells us how to make the system work as seamlessly as possible. Then it’s up to me or another clinical account manager to set up an install. Next, all equipment is shipped to the hospital and our staff goes in and tests it accordingly. At this time, we address any remaining issues, if any, that could prevent a physician from being able to run a case. After that, we are all set for formal training with the provider.
What is included in training for LungVision?
There’s a didactic portion that goes through our technology--how to use it, how to set it up, what the connectivity looks like, and the workflow. In this section we go through the planning, how to do our different spins, how to navigate using our technology and the different user interface options LungVision offers.
After that, we do the hands-on portion. This simulates a real case, and we have the whole provider’s team present that's expected to participate in cases. We have a lung model, we select a lesion there, and we go through the procedure from beginning to end--from planning to procedure, navigation and tool-in-lesion confirmation spins. We repeat training a couple of times if necessary.
How long does it take someone to get comfortable using LungVision?
Users get real clinical benefits starting from the first procedure. Their comfort comes right around the five case mark. We are currently doing a learning curve study focused on the time it takes to become autonomous--when you don’t need anyone from our team there to complete the procedure. The outcomes look very promising so far.
Does LungVision require any specific equipment to integrate or run?
No, we don’t require any Body Vision-specific equipment, we rely on the bronchoscope and C-Arm that is already in the bronchoscopy suite.
What is most doctors’ first impression of LungVision?
Initially, they try to pigeonhole us as just another navigation platform. But that’s because there’s a lack of understanding that we are an advanced imaging system that also has navigation capabilities. Usually, partway through the training, doctors start to see and understand that we are not just a navigation system but an advanced imaging modality and that’s really awesome.
A lot of doctors are just so excited to have a platform that provides real-time tool-in-lesion imaging. Even our established users continue to be excited about that. That’s still the stronghold of what people are impressed with. That being said, people are also very excited about the future possibilities of what can be done with this technology. Not everything there is related to the lung space so it’s very open-ended there.
How is Body Vision changing the lung space?
A lot of companies are going to have to adapt to what we are able to do. Virtual bronchoscopy and ENB both have several limitations and companies will need to figure out how to adapt to that now that we have proven real-time imaging is possible. The only way other companies will be able to stay competitive is to partner with us because our platform is actually designed to integrate with any other platforms.
The reality is that Body Vision’s technology can contribute to every type of procedure there is--robotics or standard navigation. Whether they have a cone beam or a basic C-arm, we can get in there and we can add value. That is truly the difference.